California Penal Code 667.71: What It Means to Be a Habitual Sexual Offender
Sexual offenses are taken very seriously, and California has specific provisions addressing habitual sexual offenders. One such provision is California Penal Code 667.71, also referred to as the “Habitual Sexual Offender” law. This blog is a brief overview and should not be considered legal advice. For personalized legal guidance in San Bernardino County, contact the Law Offices of John D. Lueck, APC, in Rancho Cucamonga for a consultation.
What Is California Penal Code 667.71?
California Penal Code 667.71 targets individuals who have been convicted of specified sexual offenses multiple times. This law is designed to impose harsher penalties on those who are considered habitual sexual offenders under the statute.
Offenses Covered Under PC 667.71
California Penal Code 667.71 applies to a variety of sexual offenses. These include rape (PC 261), sexual battery (PC 243.4), child molestation (PC 647.6), and lewd acts with a minor (PC 288). Each of these offenses carries its own set of legal complexities and penalties, but when prosecuted under PC 667.71, the consequences are notably severe and aimed at deterring habitual offenders.
Penalties Under PC 667.71
California Penal Code 667.71 is a felony, the conviction of which carries a penalty of 25 years to life in a California state prison. Probation is generally not an option for those convicted under this statute, and individuals convicted under this statute are also required to register as a sex offender for life with a local law enforcement agency. Sex offender registration is fraught with its own set of challenges and limitations, further emphasizing the seriousness of such a conviction.
Legal Defenses to PC 667.71 Charges
A strong defense can sometimes lead to reduced charges or even dismissal of the case. Consulting with an experienced Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney to evaluate the facts of the case and build an effective defense strategy is important.
Here are some examples of defenses that might be employed in fighting PC 667.71 charges. Of course, the availability and appropriateness of these defenses depend on the facts of the case and situation.
No Probable Cause
One of the foundational elements of any arrest is the requirement for “probable cause.” In the context of PC 667.71, this means that law enforcement must have a reasonable belief, based on observable facts and circumstances, that the individual committed a sexual offense. If an arrest or detainment occurs without probable cause, any evidence gathered subsequently may be deemed inadmissible, potentially leading to the dismissal or reduction of charges.
Confessions are powerful pieces of evidence, but they must be obtained lawfully. California law prohibits the use of coercion or overbearing tactics to elicit a confession. If you can demonstrate that your confession was coerced, it may be excluded from evidence. In some cases, this could result in the entire case being dropped, especially if the coerced confession was the primary evidence against you.
Police Arrested the Wrong Person
Mistaken identity is more common than one might think, especially in cases lacking eyewitness testimony. If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are the individual who committed the alleged sexual offense, it becomes exceedingly difficult to label you as a habitual sexual offender under PC 667.71.
Impact on the Convicted Individual
A conviction under this law has long-lasting implications, affecting not just the individual but also their family. The stigma attached to being labeled a habitual sexual offender can lead to social ostracization and difficulty in finding employment.
Contact Law Offices of John D. Lueck, APC
California Penal Code 667.71 is a stringent law aimed at habitual sexual offenders. The penalties are severe, and the impact on the convicted individual’s life is significant. If you or someone you know is facing charges under this law, it’s imperative to seek legal counsel from a qualified criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of John D. Lueck, APC, at 909-484-1963 for a consultation. You can also reach attorney John Lueck directly on his cell phone at 909-646-2736.